History of North Palmyra Township, Macoupin County, Il
From: History of Macoupin County Illinois
Hon. Charles A. Walker, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1911


This township lies in the extreme northern portion of the county. It is geographically known as township 12, range 8 west, and contains 23,040 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by Morgan county, on the east by North Otter township, on the south by South Palmyra and on the west by Scottville townships. There is some timber to be found here but the land is mostly a fertile prairie, under a high state of cultivation. Apple creek drains the northern portion, while the east side is drained by Massey creek, the central and southern portions by Solomon's creek and the western portion by Joe's creek.

The first man to settle in this township was John Cummings, who came with his family in August, 1824. He was followed by Jonas Thompson and family who came in the same year. In 1825 Mrs. Woodring and family came and in the fall of 1826 Elijah Wills and his family made a permanent location in the township. On the 27th of March, 1827, Judge Lewis Solomon, Sr., came here from Morgan county and located on section 20. Solomon's creek was named in his honor. The district in which he located was afterward known as Eagle's point and received its name from the following circumstance: When Judge Solomon came to the county to look for a location, he burned off several patches of prairie and as the fire neared the timber a large number of spotted eagles flew around. These eagles are found only in new and unsettled country. Here Judge Solomon, assisted by his sons James and Lewis, erected a log cabin, which had no windows, the only light in the building being received through the door and chimney.

In the fall of 1828 William Norvili and family came from Sumner county. Tennessee, and settled on section 23.

The first man to enter land was Jonathan Thompson, February 17, 1827. He entered eighty acres on the southeast quarter of section 4. Ezekiel Springer entered eighty acres on the northwest quarter of section 3, on the 12th of November, 1827. The third entry was made by E. C. Vandal, January 19, 1828, which comprised eighty acres of the southeast quarter of section 4.

After this time settlers came in quite rapidly. John Nevins, Sr., came from Madison county in 1827 and bought the improvements of Elijah Wills. In the same year John Nevins, Jr. and John Scott, with their families, arrived and settled on section 7. William Nevins, the father of John, came and settled on the same section. Jacob Nifong came here in 1828 and bought the improvements of John Nevins. James Howard came from Morgan county in 1828. He married a daughter of Judge Solomon and became the first schoolteacher in the township. Alexander Carson came from Kentucky and settled on section 28. This was in the spring of 1828. The same year I. B. Vandal and Spencer Norvill came and settled in the township. Aaron Turner and Larkin Richardson arrived in 1829. In 1830 John Cherry and Russell, William, Henry and John Taber arrived in the township. All settled just north of the present site of Palmyra. Robert Ross came in 1829 or 1830 and settled on section 27. Joseph King came in 1829, locating on section 28. His brother David joined him here in 1835. James Pocklington an Englishman, came with his family in August, 1830. Isham Gibson was an early settler.

In 1831 the following came: James Young and family, Newton Berry, Stephen Jones and Stephen Robertson. The latter purchased the improvements on section 33, made by Russell Taber. William Sims also came this year and his brother George had preceded him here in 1829. William Rice came here from Kentucky in 1830, locating on section 33. The same year William Hodges settled on section 34. John B. Clevenger came with his father in the year 1830. Daniel Chapman was here in 1831 and Garrett Davis was here the year previous, as was also James Bryant and family, who settled on section 2. Claibourne Gooch, who had a large family, came here from Kentucky in 1833, settling on section 29. Jasper Rice, also a Kentuckian settled on section 28, in the year 1832. Jonathan Landreth came here in 1833 from Virginia. John Cotts came from Kentucky in 1835 and settled on section 22. He married a Miss Wise after coming to the township. In 1835 Thomas Steward, D. A. Pulliam and Jesse Berry arrived, while in the following year, 1836, Lewis O'Neal and Joseph Liston, Sr., came.

The first sermon in the township was preached at the home of Lewis Solomon, Sr. in the year 1827, by Austin Sims, a Baptist. Lewis Solomon, Sr. and William Hodges, both Baptists, also were among the early preachers here. Jacob Nifong, who was of the Christian faith, also was an early preacher here.

The Methodist denomination built the first church in 1840. It was located a mile and a half north of the village of Palmyra and was called Bethel. It was constructed of hewed logs and was subsequently used for school purposes.

The first schoolhouse was located in the northwest part of the township, on section IS, and built in 1829. It was first conducted as a subscription school, the teacher being James Howard.

The first marriage was that of Andrew Thompson and Sarah Woodring, Lewis Solomon, Sr. performing the ceremony.

The first child born in the township was in 1827, a son of Elijah and Drusiila Wills. He died in infancy.

The first mill was erected by E. C. Vancil and was run by horse power. Prior to this the settlers had to go to mill at a place now known as Stockbridge.

Dr. George Sims located here in 1829 but prior to that time E. C. Vancil practiced medicine to some extent. Dr. Palmer arrived here a little later.

The first justice of the peace was Lewis Solomon, Sr. He was elected when Macoupin county formed a part of Greene county. Mr. Solomon also introduced the first blooded stock in the township.

The first blacksmith shop was erected on land belonging to Lewis Solomon. Sr., and was operated by a Mr. Stratton.

The first postoffice was established in 189 at Vancil's Point at the residence of Mr. Solomon.

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